Who is a user?
The users of the Health and Social Services Network are all those who, at some point in their lives, use the services of the network. These are, for example, the pregnant woman, the anxious person, the young person in a youth center, the disabled person or person dealing with a disability, the young person with ADHD, the worker on leave, the person living with cancer, the person struggling with addiction, the in-patient in a CHSLD, the senior who lives at home and receives help from his CLSC or his loved ones. In a word, it is all of the Quebeckers. The RPCU represents them.
As users of the Health and Social Services network, we have rights recognized by the Act respecting health services and social services (LSSSS).
To assert his rights
When a problematic situation cannot be solved easily, or if you are still not satisfied, the Act respecting Health Services and Social Services provides a mechanism through which a user can state his or her view, be heard, understood, and respected: The Complaints Review Process, whose aim is to improve the quality of services being offered.
Improving the quality of care and services
When informed of problematic situations in which users find themselves, the institution’s management and persons responsible for services must take corrective action to remedy these situations. The primary objective is to improve the quality of care and services. Therefore, indicating dissatisfaction is an excellent way to improve the quality of care and services. It is a useful contribution, both for the individual user himself, and for all of the users at their care facility.
First, let’s talk!
Is the difficult situation in which a user finds him or herself, due to a misunderstanding? Or a simple mistake? Could it be remedied without having to lodge a complaint? The answer is YES. First of all, the user must contact the right person within the care facility: the person who is responsible for care and services. The user must give them the facts, clarify the situation and ask for an explanation. Communication, exchange and dialogue with the right person will, more often than not, solve the problem. Simply reporting a problem can be sufficient. However, sometimes it is necessary to go beyond reporting.
Who does one go to in order to lodge a complaint?
The lodging of a complaint to the bodies authorized to receive them, depends on the nature of the wrongdoing (malpractice, breach of users’ rights, breach of the institution, criminal act or violation of human rights), various legislative steps and service agreements. The Complaint Review Process is complex, but it is usually the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner of the institution who receives the complaints. The Users’ committee of the institution may direct the user to the relevant authorities or relevant resources, and accompany him during the process. So, in each institution, a Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner is appointed to receive complaints and respond to them within 45 days. This is a requirement under the law.
Obtain Assistance or Support
A number of resources can help you if you decide to file a complaint. Do not hesitate to consult or use them.
- User’s commitee
- Service quality and complaints commissioner
- Complaints assistance and support centre
Possibility of a second recourse
In the event that the user is not satisfied with the response given by the institution or with the measures put in place to resolve the situation, he or she can apply to the Quebec Ombudsperson.
Fundamental Human rights
The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms sets out the fundamental rights of the individual, among which can be found the following:
- Right to life and personal integrity
- Right to the safeguard of one’s dignity
- Right to respect for one’s private life
- Right to non-disclosure of confidential Information
- Right to integrity and inviolability
- Right to equal recognition of rights
The Act respecting end-of-life care includes access to palliative care and medical aid in dying, as well as the possibility for establishing an advance medical directives regime. The Civil Code of Québec also provides for rights. Fundamental rights apply everywhere including in Health and Social Services institutions. Fundamental human rights are defended by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission) while the rights of the users are defended by the Users and In-patients’ committees of each of the Health and Social Services institution.
For more information on human rights, contact the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec.
Five major missions
Health and Social Services network provide services that correspond to the five major missions and vary according to whether they are a:
- Local community service centre (CLSC);
- Hospital centre (CH);
- Residential and long-term care centre (CHSLD);
- Child and Youth Protection Centre (CPEJ);
- Rehabilitation centre (CR).
Find out more about those five missions.
To better understand the Health and Social Services public network
The Québec health and social services system is based on two levels of management and an integrated model of health and social services. For further information on the network, consult MSSS’s website: Health and Social Services System in Brief.
Tools for users
Find out more